Thursday, July 31, 2014

[USS Charon] [Romulan Empire] SD241402.13 | "Alea iacta est" Prelude Part 1 | Praetor Arrenhe t'Ahaefvthe

<<Will send you posts from my RSE Series in UCIP to get you current with things a bit...>>

Consecutusque cohortis ad Rubiconem flumen, qui provinciae eius finis erat, paulum constitit, ac reputans quantum moliretur, conversus ad proximos: "Etiam nunc," inquit, "regredi possumus;  quod si ponticulum transierimus, omnia armis agenda erunt."
- Suetonius.
[Ch'Rihan, I'Ramnau]
"Please switch to I'Ramnau traffic network."
tr'Ehhelih looked up.  The sky blazed in hues of amaranth and amber as the face of Eisn drifted partially below the horizon allowing the speckle of lights dotting the Senate complex's high rises to dominate the skyline like a field of a stars.  The senator reluctantly pulled a hand away from the ISD in his lap and tapped the flitter controls allowing the network's preprogrammed autopilot to take over before returning his attention to the device.  The computer mechanically whirred in compliance as it synchronized the propulsion with local traffic speeds.  When the flitter jolted suddenly he thought nothing of it.  The I'Ramnau traffic system had long been plagued by congestion so a sudden decrease in speed was nothing new but...
It was abrupt like an ocean gust ripping a kite from a child's hands.  He barely had time to recognize the error as the flitter twisted instantly onto its side.  The ISD slid off his lap and hit the driver side window as he chaotically fumbled for the attitude controls to reorient the flitter.  A hiss echoed through the cabin and the Senator's eyes widened as he turned to see his ISD fall away towards the city through the opening driver side door. 
tr'Ehhelih grabbed the headrest of the passenger seat but another sudden jolt ripped his grip free sending him tumbling out after his ISD.  He reached for the flitter but it grew smaller with each passing second.  As he fell his senatorial robes fluttered wildly around him blinding him from the last fear filled seconds of his life.
[I'Ramnau Markets]
"How much?"
"rhe whaenra"
"I will give you lli whaenra."
"You do me too much honor fvillhu, I will accept fve whaenra and not a single more!"
Arrenhe smiled and reached into her basket grabbing the money pouch.  Popping the satchel open she slid a silver coin out and handed it to t'Evekh.  The woman grinned and chuckled at Arrenhe while putting the coin into a container.  She then started to carefully wrap up the two fresh ryllh.
"Fvillhu I have an old recipe for a wonderful ryllh sauce.  It is just amazing spread over a freshly baked nnhk.  You must let me give it you!"
"I do not often go for sweets but I will still take it.  I'm sure my nephews will enjoy it." The merchant faintly reminded Arrenhe of her long dead grandmother with her warm goldenrod eyes and the weatherworn look of someone who worked hard in the sun but lived with a spirit strong in warmth and mirth.
A startled expression suddenly appeared on the merchants' face as she stared passed Arrenhe.  Turning around the Praetor was able to catch a glimpse of fluttering cloth in the periphery of her vision before a raucous thunder echoed through the markets.  Shouts and screams were followed by a cloud of dust and splinters.  As shoppers and merchants rushed away from the commotion Arrenhe dropped her basket and forced her way through the wave of people towards it.
"Fvillhu wait!  Your ryllh!"  
The rush for escape slowed as the tumult dissipated and people realized the immediate threat to them was minimal.  Now curious onlookers were beginning to gather at the source of the commotion including a single Praetor who weaved her way carefully through the crowd before finding herself directly in front of a member of the I'Ramnau constabulary.  His hands were outstretched as he attempted to keep the gawkers at bay and just beyond him Arrenhe could see the remnants of an ihor stand she had passed earlier.  The wooden table seemed shattered as the support beams were splintered into several pieces and the ivory tarp they once held in place for shade lay over the entire mess.  In front of it all a river of lavender fruit juice from the crushed berries was snaking its way through grooves in the cobblestone pathway.  Then her eyes noticed the two fingers slightly visible through a pile of berries at the edge of the tarp's cover.
"This is a restricted area.  Please move back."  The constable noticed Arrenhe edging forward and grabbed her shoulder pushing her back towards the crowd.  "We will arrest anyone who interfe-"
"Arrest?"  Her voice resonated slightly above the timbre of the crowd noise as her hand reached into her pocket and produced her Praetorian sigil. 
The constable swallowed his words and scanned it.  Once it was authenticated he bowed his head "forgive me Praetor I did not mean any insult but I have been asked to keep the crowds at bay until our investigators have been able to examine the accident scene."
"No, do not apologize for doing your job constable."  Arrenhe pushed passed him and slowly moved towards the shattered market stall "accident?"  One of the other constables started to head towards her but was waved off.
"Some sort of accident Praetor.  It seems a man fell from his flitter."
Fell?  Not that it wasn't unheard of but it was such a rare thing these days.  Decades ago it wouldn't have been uncommon- the traffic networks then had been plagued by bugs and bad programming which at times resulted in extraordinary crashes that dotted the news nets for days.  After one spectacular inferno that claimed the lives of several dozen the Senate had the entire traffic net overhauled.  It was much slower now and at times annoying but altogether relatively safe.  Her curiosity was now burning "who was the victim?"
"We are still awaiting DNA verification."
"Mind if I look?"  Arrenhe asked.  The constable appeared surprised by her morbid curiosity but seemed to have been tamed by his earlier embarrassment and just nodded his head in approval.  She walked through the lavender rivers and knelt down at the edge of the tarp lifting it up.  A face was barely visible in the pile of crushed berries.  She immediately recognized the lavender and emerald stained visage.  She must have showed her surprise since one of the other constables moved next to her.
Arrenhe looked up and released her grip on the tarp letting it drop down.  "He looks familiar but I seem to be unable to put a name to his face."  Standing up she smiled "forgive my intrusion.  I will let you return to your work."  The constable nodded as Arrenhe turned and headed back through the crowd to retrieve her basket and ryllhr.  There was no mistake in her mind however: that was Vaebn tr'Ehhelih.  He was one of the Empress's primary cohorts in the Senate and now he was lying dead in a crushed pile of ihor berries.  An accident?  How absurd.  This would certainly complicate things.
--- To be continued ---
Arrenhe ir-Latasalaem tr'Ahaefvthe
Romulan Star Empire 

Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu
Commanding Officer
USS Charon

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